The leadership duo commanding Perth's Premiership assault
Neil Kilkenny hailed the influence of Tony Popovic's leadership after Perth Glory's classy 2-0 victory over Adelaide United on Friday night.
Veteran Perth midfielder Kilkenny has been a key enforcer for the Glory boss over the course of the club's Premiership assault.
And the 33-year-old believes Popovic's ruthless guidance of the Glory ship combined with his own personal command of the Perth midfield has been a match made in heaven.
"I'm a winner and that's why I enjoy working with this manager," Kilkenny told FOX Sports after Perth's triumph in Adelaide.
"He's come in and he demands the very top every day, which I do as a player.
"He's helped me as well as lot of the other lads and we're reaping the rewards.
"Every day we train he drums into us what he wants. He's very, very demanding of the group and of individuals, as I am as a player.
"He does it for me now and helps me out and the lads have responded well. It's fantastic to see.
"We're top of the league and hopefully we can stay there."
Former Arsenal youth Kilkenny headlines a bracket of Glory players who have thrived under Popovic's tutelage this season.
However, as Diego Castro, Christopher Ikonomidis and Andy Keogh continue to draw hefty praise from all quarters, Kilkenny was eager to credit the influence of midfield partner Juande as an unsung hero in Perth's 2018/19 season.
Indeed, the exemplary balance of brains and brawn displayed in the middle third by the Glory duo was on display again in the club's classy win in Adelaide.
"He helps me out massively," Kilkenny said of the experienced Spaniard.
"A lot of people have got a lot of plaudits this seasons but hes been fantastic when he's played.
"He breaks up the play, keeps it simple, wins his headers, sits in front of the back line and maybe does things that I'm not so good at.
"He's helped me out massively, and I'm really enjoying playing with him."